Welcoming first-time guests is a crucial aspect of church growth, but the real challenge lies in retaining them as active members. In this post, we’ll explore effective strategies for making first-timers feel valued and connected to your church community, drawing inspiration from the insightful write-up, “HOW DO YOU RETAIN YOUR FIRST-TIMER” by the ChurchPlus Team.

Warm Welcomes Matter:

The initial encounter with first-time visitors is pivotal. As mentioned in the write-up, a recognition call is a great start, but it doesn’t end there. The key is personal interaction. Church leaders, including pastors, should approach newcomers with a genuine smile, a firm handshake, and even a warm hug to express agape love. This simple yet powerful gesture goes a long way in making guests feel genuinely welcomed. Get Free SMS on ChurchPlus to get started.

Example: Imagine a first-time visitor, nervous and unsure, being warmly greeted by church leaders. This positive experience sets the tone for their entire visit and significantly increases the likelihood of them returning.

Engagement Beyond the Service:

Making first-timers feel connected involves more than just the initial welcome. The ChurchPlus Team suggests engaging with newcomers after the service and familiarizing them with various church activities. This helps integrate them into the community and ensures they don’t feel lost or disconnected.
Example: Hosting a post-service gathering or providing a guided tour of the church facilities can be a great way to involve first-time visitors. This not only introduces them to the church’s offerings but also provides an opportunity for them to interact with existing members.

Thoughtful Tokens of Appreciation:

The write-up emphasizes the importance of giving first-timers a thoughtful gift bag. This small but significant gesture shows appreciation for their attendance and leaves a lasting impression. It could contain informational materials, a welcome letter, or even a small token to remind them of their first visit.
Example: A first-timer receives a personalized gift bag containing a welcome card, a church brochure, and perhaps a small bookmark with an inspiring scripture. Such thoughtful gestures make guests feel valued and contribute to a positive first impression.

Consistent Follow-Up:

Retaining first-time visitors requires ongoing effort. The ChurchPlus Team recommends following up with them at least three times a week in the first month. Utilizing tools like the ChurchPlus software can streamline this process through workflow prompts, making it easier for church leaders to stay connected with newcomers.

The automated workflow on ChurchPlus makes this process a breeze, Get started here

Example: A church member, equipped with the ChurchPlus software, sends personalized follow-up messages to a first-time visitor, checking in on their experience, addressing any concerns, and inviting them to upcoming events. This consistent communication builds a sense of belonging.


In conclusion, retaining first-time visitors is not just a goal; it’s a mission that contributes to a church’s overall growth and fulfillment of the great commission. By implementing the strategies outlined in the write-up, churches can create a welcoming environment where every visitor feels valued, connected, and inspired to become an active member of the community.

Example: As churches consistently apply these principles, they witness an increase in the number of first-time visitors who not only return but also become integral parts of the church family. This, in turn, strengthens the church’s impact and outreach.

“Happy New Week,” as we embark on the mission of making every visitor’s experience a memorable and transformative one.

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